KAMPALA – The SAFE STEPS road safety campaign by Prudential Uganda and implemented by Uganda Red Cross Society has on Friday successfully been concluded having trained over four thousand (4,000) boda boda riders in both road safety and first aid within Kampala Metropolitan Area (KMA) covering the 5 Divisions of Central, Makindye, Rubaga, Nakawa, Kawempe along with Wakiso, Entebbe and Mukono.
Safe Steps campaign which started on 1st September 2023 was primarily aimed at promoting road safety, first aid, behavioural change and awareness among boda boda riders within KMA alongside dissemination of 60-second public service announcement videos and educational posters featuring SAFE STEPS Road Safety Africa Ambassador Didier Drogba who advises on key road safety topics such as drunk driving, distracted driving, use of seat belts, respecting speed limits, motorcycles and pedestrians.
Globally, 1.35 million people are killed on the roads every year, including 500 children every day. Africa has the highest road fatality rate in the world and 44 percent of road traffic deaths are pedestrians and cyclists. Although Africa has only 2 percent of the world’s cars, the continent accounts for 20 percent of road deaths worldwide.
Speaking at the grand finale event, Chief Executive Officer Prudential Uganda – Tetteh Ayitevie said the SAFE STEPS campaign aimed to raise awareness and provide easy-to-understand educational information on road safety which extended to Uganda having been successful in Ivory Coast and Kenya.
“The campaign in Uganda enhanced road safety skills acquisition among Boda – Boda riders within the Kampala Metropolitan Area through skills-based Road safety and First Aid trainings, increasing the level of usage of basic protective gear and heightening road safety awareness among the boda-boda cyclists, passengers and the general public.”
Secretary General, Uganda Red Cross Society – Kwesiga Robert appreciated Prudential Uganda for successfully completing Phase I of the SAFE STEPS campaign in Uganda through which boda-boda riders who are embedded in Uganda’s ecosystem have been sensitized on road safety and first aid.
“At URCS, we are committed to road safety and recognize the rapid escalation of Uganda’s road safety crisis. Since 2019, URCS has been implementing a response to Public Health Emergencies program funded by the Government of Uganda through Ministry of Health aimed at improving emergency medical services along major highways by providing timely response to casualties of Road Traffic Accidents (RTA) by operating a fleet of 21 Ambulances. Prudential Uganda’s partnership with URCS through the SAFE STEPS campaign is accelerating the URCS’ mandate to save lives.”
Kwesiga added that over the past six months through the SAFE STEPS campaign by Prudential Uganda, URCS trained approximately 4,000 boda boda riders within the Kampala Metropolitan Area i.e Central, Makindye, Rubaga, Nakawa, Kawempe, Entebbe and Mukono. These trainings were conducted between 3 to 5 days per session. In addition, more members of the general public and boda boda riders were reached through the media. The trained boda-boda riders received certificates, helmets, reflector jackets and an I-commit sticker that declares road safety principles that they pledge to follow while each boda-boda stage with trained riders will also receive a first aid kit to support during road traffic emergencies.
The Minister of Works and Transport – General Katumba Wamala commended Prudential Uganda and Uganda Red Cross Society for championing the SAFE STEPS road safety campaign to reach out to Boda-boda riders within the Kampala Metropolitan Area which is in line with the National Road Safety Action Plan 2021/22 – 2025/26 which is a guiding tool geared at contributing to the prevention and reduction of road crashes by 25%.
“According to the 2021 Annual Crime and Traffic/Road Safety report by Uganda Police Force in 2021, the number of crashes and crash fatalities on our roads remains unacceptably high, with an estimated 12,589 and 4,159 respectively. These statistics highlight the need to heighten awareness and education on road safety through campaigns such as the SAFE STEPS initiative which go a long way in ensuring that motorcyclists, whose largest percentage are boda-boda riders take road safety with the magnitude it deserves,” Hon Katumba added.
Ayitevie concluded by noting that SAFE STEPS will continue again this 2023 and will spread to more districts beyond Kampala Metropolitan Area.
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